Report: Bristol Flyers 64-74 USA Select
Thursday, September 7th 2017
Flyers lost their first game of the season against the USA Select 64-74 at the SGS WISE Arena.
The USA Select team returned for their annual UK tour, with a record of 1-1. The crop of the most promising young Americans came to the SGS Arena to try and improve to 2-1. Flyers hosted their first game since their play-off exit against the Newcastle Eagles. The last time these two met the Flyers' lost 78-82.
Adam Weary was the only of Flyers' summer signings to feature in the game as he made his pro debut.
Bristol won the opening tip to gain the first possession. Both teams struggled from the field early on until USA Select finally broke the deadlock with a free throw on a clear path foul and a jumper on the following possession.
Flyers may have been experiencing rust in the first quarter as they failed to score for the first four minutes of the game, until Roy Own was found by Brandon Boggs for the two points inside.
Bristol came to the game late offensively and Select took advantage and raced out to a 2-8 lead. The Americans built their early lead on tough defence and fast break opportunities, beating the rusty Flyers down the court for high percentage shots.
Despite USA Select's early dominance, Flyers put together a quick run behind scores from Daniel Edozie, Leslee Smith and Boggs to take the lead as the first quarter came to a close. Flyers opened the second quarter with a free throw to give them a slender three point lead. USA Select came back looking to cut the lead, but Bristol stood tall and stormed into the open court for a Boggs slam dunk.
Although Flyers were back in the game, they couldn't get things going offensively and shot just 29% from the field for the half.
The USA Select team deployed their tough defence and came up with multiple turnovers, which led to fastbreak scores. Not only were USA Select utilising the fastbreak opportunities but they were being carried by a white hot Renard Green, Jr. The American guard displayed the whole repertoire with deep two-pointers, fade away jumpshots and slashing drives to lead the USA Select team for the half.
Green Jr torched Flyers for 18 points to close the half 23-27.
Green Jr picked up where he left off in the first half by dominating offensively and protecting their double-digit lead, with two straight buckets early in the third. Flyers cut into the American lead with hard drive into the lane by Smith for the score and a Boggs power dunk.
After a short time out, Flyers looked to make a run of their own and stepped it up defensively. They kept the Americans at bay for a stretch but the defensive success would not last, as Green Jr continued to bomb away on the offensive end.
Inspired by his teammate, Tyler Birch hit back to back threes to drive the lead back up to double digits. USA Select added to their lead with timely scores and as the fourth quarter beckoned Flyers trailed 44-57.
Flyers stormed into the final period with a quick five point run; Boggs ran out for another huge double handed slam dunk and new signing Weary followed with a converted And-1. Despite the Flyers' charge, they still trailed by 12. USA Select turned it up on the defensive end, with Daniel Clark focring three straight steals resulting in fastbreak lay-ups.
As the contest wore on, Bristol strung together some field goals, but ultimately Flyers could not contain the potent offence of the USA Select team. Though Bristol continued to battle from behind they could not close the gap, losing their pre-season opener 64-74.
RSG Player of the game
Social media post of the game
Images courtesy of JMPUK.